Atlanta, GA: December 12, 2104 was a magical night in Atlanta,GA. Shiv Mandir of Atlanta hosted its annual fund raising dinner at Holiday Inn on Holcomb Bridge Road to benefit the construction of its new temple. Nita Sardana, Shiv Mandir board member, along with numerous volunteers coordinated this unique and exciting fundraiser in which about 300 people participated.
This event started with a prayer by Pandit Gyan Praksh of Shiv Mandir. This was followed by a silent auction, an excellent musical program, and dinner.
The auction items that were donated by the Atlanta community were displayed beautifully in the hall, where eager guest were able to bid on their favorite items. Girish Modi who is a philanthropist, and revived his passion for music, photography, videography contributed a major amount even before the program started. Jaydev Jani and Seema Jain were the emcees for the program. They did an amazing job keeping in mind the goals of the Shiv Mandir. Shyam Gupta also did an outstanding job with the audio visual portion of the program. Having three huge screens display the entire program allowed the guests not to miss a moment of it.
The magical evening included musical entertainment by Atlanta’s very own renowned singer Aarti Pandya MD. Aarti has performed with artists such as ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali, Sarangi Master Ustad Sultan Khan, Tabla great Ustad Tari Khan, playback singer Kumar Sanu, Anup Jalota and legendary singer Manna Dey. Her voice mesmerized the entire audience that the program lasted till 1:30 am. Along with Aarti, Vishal Vaid also entertained the audience with his melodious voice.
Distinguished guest, Ambassador Ajit Kumar, Consul General of India shared his thoughts on the importance of temples.
Sunny Duddilla, Chairman of Shiv Mandir Atlanta said: “Today I stand here in pride because of you and countless other volunteers who have over the years readily offered their services to Shiv Mandir. Because of the volunteers, donors, priests, and the community, the actual physical building of our Shiv Mandir is not a distant dream any more, now it is just around the corner.” The construction of the temple has started. All of us need to work together to make this happen. We are reaching out to our membership and the community to offer you the chance to be a vital part of Shiv Mandir’s construction and to partner with Shiv Mandir in this endeavor
Nita Sardana, the coordinator of the 2014 Shiv Mandir’s fund raising dinner shared her experience with Hinduism, importance of association with temples, and how thankful she was to be a part of the Shiv Mandir. She also thanked Dr. Aarti Pandya and her group, for not only performing but also becoming a part of Shiv Mandir. Ram Shahani, President of Shiv Mandir was thankful for the encouragement Shiv Mandir of Atlanta has received from many organizations and individuals so far. The passion these organizations and individual volunteers have shown in serving the temple is a true inspiration to all of us. Their generosity, zeal, and ever-smiling faces must be really contagious as I see more and more motivated people joining the movement. Ram Shahani also mentioned that “With your energy and Shivji’s blessings, this magnificent temple will be built soon”.
The night ended with Shiv Mandir achieving and exceeding its goals for the fundraiser. “Shiv Mandir of Atlanta is overwhelmed with the participation, contribution, and the commitment of the participants to be a vital part of the Mandir’s construction and to partner with Shiv Mandir in this historical endeavor,” said the release.